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Ferguson’s True Criminals


Ferguson’s True Criminals

Jamelle Bouie

At every point in the drama of Ferguson, Missouri, from the first protests to the final fires, Americans have argued about the character of the personalities involved. Was Michael Brown a thug or an ordinary kid? Was Darren Wilson a racist, or was he just trying to do his job? In each case, the hope was that you could justify your “side” with the right answer. If Brown was just a criminal, then his death wasn’t a tragedy, and the protests don’t mean anything. If Wilson is a racist, then the community is righteous, and their anger is just.


The system is criminal.

All of the court protocols and charges for minor offenses in Ferguson are criminal.

It’s criminal when men who murder others are let out in less than 10 years (and that happens more often than many people would think), while persons convicted of using recreational drugs can serve more than that length of time.

It’s criminal when lobbyists bribe politicians to build prisons and in order to guarantee profits for those private prisons, increasingly turn up the legal heat on punishments meted out.

It’s criminal when a judge, like that one in Connecticut (of somewhere else in New England) actually had a quid pro quo system in place that had him cashing in on the youth he sentenced to juvenile facilities for typical childhood pranks and such.

It’s criminal when the self-defined Exceptional Nation incarcerates a higher percentage of its citizens than does any other allegedly civilized nation.

It’s criminal when cops enjoy a culture of immunity (as well as impunity) that encourages men–in packs–to act like thugs taking out ridiculous levels of rage, hostility, and aggression (usually as a group) on an individual who has no equivalent means to fight back.

It’s criminal that domestic police departments ARE being militaristically “beefed up” and that while latent violence mostly spills out in drug raids, it’s setting into place a tolerance for this type of behavior. That behavior involves the use of disproportionate force aimed at citizens.

I think it’s preparation for Martial Law and/or internment camps for political dissidents.


“…it [the Ferguson Police Department] targeted them [blacks] for fines and fees and knowingly violated their constitutional rights.”

If true, why didn’t the Justice Department bring charges against the police. Isn’t “violating rights” illegal? Why doesn’t the State Attorney General bring charges?


This “Justice” Department? Surely you’re joking.


“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


I am very angry that the Feds decided to let Wilson off. I am feeling urges very contradictory from my values.

All these findings about the racism in Ferguson PD is beside the point if officers can shoot unarmed black men with their hands up and not even, ever, have to face trial for it.

I hope the family sues for wrongful death.


Racism remains THE American tragedy. We all lose because of the pernicious influence of this social evil. Racial minorities lose in myriad ways–their lives are frustrated, they suffer indignities and too often they don’t live as long as they should. But even for the majority, racism is a disaster. There are people who go through this world completely undeveloped as human beings, and yet they are scornful and hateful of others solely because of the color of their skins. It’s a pathetic indictment of the human propensity for comforting illusions that some people think they are “superior” because their skin does not contain as much melanin as others. The Ferguson cops who abused blacks with impunity are hardly examples of admirable professionals. They are small-minded, mean-spirited bullies, plain and simple. Such people are pathetic, no matter how physically powerful they are or how confident they seem. These are people who need to stand on someone else’s neck in order to feel self-worthy. They are people who really have very little within them.

The culture of the Ferguson police may be shocking to some, but it sure as hell isn’t news to many people of color all over this nation. In some respects, Ferguson is ANYTOWN USA, where black and Hispanic people are located in numbers. Everywhere the police follow racist procedures for the simple reason that the USA is still a racist society in which people of color cannot command social respect as human persons. When respect for humanity is lacking, it cannot be surprising that civil rights for the dehumanized are sorely lacking. The US has come a long way as regards race, but it still has a long, long way to go.

Jamelle Bouie says that Michael Brown may have committed criminal acts. Granted. But it’s still irrelevant to the Wilson case. Because at the time of his confrontation with Brown, Officer Wilson did not have knowledge of Brown’s involvement in shoplifting. He tangled with Brown over jaywalking, and events escalated from there. Even if Wilson had known that Brown had shoplifted, are we saying that this makes Brown a “criminal” on the order of a murder or rape suspect and that his death was therefore justified? If you read some of the eyewitness accounts of what went down, it’s obvious that Wilson got mad because Brown was disrespectful, and no self-respecting white police officer from Ferguson was gonna put up with backchat from a mere ******* That’s how it really went down between Brown and Wilson on that fateful day…


The System IS Criminal in very Specific ways.

Involuntary manslaughter usually refers to an unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence, or from an unlawful act that is a misdemeanor.

If the department starts with a unlawful racial bias that then results in a killing however unintentional, they should be brought to justice.

Sure sounds like Involuntary Manslaughter.


I think you mean the JUST US DEPARTMENT!